Well the mainstream was very muted maybe because of Barrack Obama’s inauguration, maybe because the public may wonder what all the fuss is about, do a bit of research and start questioning the wisdom and morality of forcing pesticides down a beagle’s throat!
Only a couple of responses really… The judge Mr Butterfield stated that companies “had the right to conduct vital biomedical research”, well they do, shame that most of them torture animals instead often for trivial crap such as a something to make salmon a bit pinker, as long as the consumer buys the product and does not die of cancer too soon who cares? WE DO and we will continue to care for all victims human and non human. Lord Drayton science minister also chuntered on about “life saving medical research” adding that animals are killed only “where absolutely necessary” which includes nasal decongestants, floor cleaners, diet pills, Viagra and cosmetic Botox. Many people may not agree that testing a floor cleaner on a primate is “absolutely necessary” but this is how the government think.
The other old chestnut was that the defendants themselves did everything unlawful against HLS. They did not, they ran a campaign against a large unethical company, no evidence to our knowledge was given to the court of any of the defendants sending incendiary devices etc. Some have commented on the fact that one defendant shouted something that could be construed as threatening our response is that we think that a 4 year sentence for that is utterly ludicrous and highly politically motivated. If this was a neighbour dispute the police may have had a word about restraint at most so let us get this into perspective.
The sentences were meant to crush dissent, either that or the state actually believes that protests in which no-one was harmed are worse than trying to kill someone, actually killing someone, rape etc. Let us compare the sentences with real crime bearing in mind that Greg, Heather, Natasha and Gavin have a life sentence considering the ASBOs and that the judge remarked that he would like to have the option of an indeterminate sentence in this sort of case:
First up Neil Pringle who grabbed a woman and started strangling her in a terrifying sexual assault during which she was rendered unconscious and he tried to rape her. She walloped him and in 2008 he was finally brought to justice. Sentence 6 years and an entry on the sex register.
Peter Harfield raped a woman only weeks after she had given birth. He hunted her through a public park. The police did not believe her and it took 25 years before he was brought before a court and sentenced to 6 years and a lifelong entry on the sex offenders register.
Anthony Allen raped his own daughter repeatedly when she was a child. 11 years inside the same sentence as Heather!
Christopher Lewis and Martin Walker killed a 16 year old boy (manslaughter) by forcing him into deep water laughing as he drowned, prior to this he was punched, slapped, kicked and threatened with death. 5 ½ years so actually killing another human being is more acceptable than running a campaign in which no-one was killed according to the state! No ASBOs for them.
Tracey Matthews has just today been sentenced to 8 years in prison for kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice! Not even in NETCU’s worst nightmares would any animal liberationist do what she did to a child. Heather will be in prison for 3 years longer AND be restrained by an ASBO indefinitely.
However badly the defendants are portrayed, even taking into consideration the lies and exaggerations, in comparison with predators that rape and kill for their own gratification these are ridiculously over the top sentences which aim to crush all dissent. To those who have asked why 3 defendants pleaded guilty it was very clear that this was to be a show trial they simply refused to play that game and it was their decision, not anyone else’s that counts.
Finally we would like to stress that although anger is justified against the police, CPS and judiciary in this case any premeditated, unlawful act is most certainly not in our view. Other defendants will have to face Judge Butterfield in only a few weeks, Mel’s retrial is ongoing and 3 activists are on trial in April all in all 11 more activists could face the same fate as the UK SHAC 7. We urge that no-one act on the fact that they may know where Neil Butterfield lives after this information was posted on Indymedia. At present the police have already got a warrant against an Indymedia server despite the fact that the address was removed quickly. Our enemies could use this not only to increase security in court rooms during forthcoming trials but to “protect” the jury, maybe by having them bussed in under police escort as they did at the Sequani trial. None of this will help the defendants as from day 1 the jury will be told in no uncertain terms that they are dangerous which is why anyone attending court has been asked to display nothing but the utmost restraint.